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When I decided to leave my hometown of Chicago and dive headfirst into college life in Los Angeles, I found myself bombarded with contrasting opinions about the city. LA, it seemed, was either a love-it-or-hate-it kind of place. People raved about its glorious weather, beautiful beaches, and endless opportunities. But there was one aspect of LA that captured my heart like no other: the mesmerizing sunsets.

In my first year at school, without a car and living in student housing, catching a great sunset was a challenge. Every now and then, however, I’d step outside, and the sky would explode in shades of red and orange. In those moments, I’d feel incredibly lucky to be studying in a place where such beautiful sunsets were the norm. 

During the summer break between my sophomore and junior years, I was fortunate enough to get a car. Suddenly, I was at the beach almost every week, watching the sun gracefully sink into the horizon. Believe me, there are few things as peaceful as the soothing sound of crashing waves, lying in the sand, and feeling a gentle breeze as the sky transitions from calming blue to vibrant orange.


Yet, as school resumed, the reality of a hectic schedule set in. During midterm season, students, including myself, often found it tough to spare an hour for a midweek sunset beach trip. But that doesn’t mean you can’t sneak away for a 10-minute study break to savor a stunning sunset.

Our campus and its surroundings offer a variety of great spots where you can witness the sunset and take in iconic sights like the Hollywood sign and downtown LA’s skyline all at once. Personally, I adore the parking garage next to the Shrine, offering USC students an incredible view from on high. Other popular spots include the rooftop of the Lorenzo, a student housing complex, and the SGM building’s roof.

This year, I count myself lucky to have a fantastic view from the rooftop of the house my friends and I are subleasing. I hope you’ll fall in love with the view just as I have!



Lucas Mortenson

MAJOR: Industrial and Systems Engineering Major, Songwriting Minor YEAR: Class of 2024 HOMETOWN: Golf, Illinois PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @ l.mortenson11 At USC, I am involved in a number of different academic associations including being a part of IISE, Scholars Leading Scholars, and The Freshman Engineering Academy coaching team. Outside of academics, I am involved in Greek Life, I am on the club Water Polo team, and I actively participate in the arts scene, both through my songwriting minor and other events such as open mic nights.